Tag Archives: e-Newsletters

Mobile-Friendly Designs for e-Newsletters

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I have been testing mobile designs for e-newsletters for my clients and am just about ready to roll out a new program. For those that are not using an e-newsletter yet, but are looking for a fairly inexpensive way to touch base with clients and build loyalty it is time to give an e-newsletter serious consideration.

With the advent of increased activity in the mobile space and the higher cost per click on AdWords, keeping your customer base alive and purchasing from you regularly makes a mobile-friendly e-newsletter a cost efficient solution for staying in touch.

Although many subscription management services have e-newsletter templates, not all have templates that are mobile friendly and all do not allow you to archive your own newsletter in html back on your own website for search engines.

It has been said that it is three time less expensive to build up sales with existing customers than it is to get a new customer. This is where e-newsletters are a great fit.

If you would like to be on our advance notice list of our program launch, please just contact us and we’ll make sure you get contacted.

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Should I Do an e-Newsletter? Isn’t it Passé?

Are there Pros and Cons to an e-newsletter?
Are there Pros and Cons to an e-newsletter?

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I love your newsletter, it has value to me, and now that I need X, I thought to call you first.”

If you are not creating great content that is shareable in an e-newsletter format, not only are you missing potential sales, but you may be missing ways to create loyalty with your current client base. When you create loyalty with your current base, you protect your business from “poaching”, build advocates for your own services, enhance referral actions, and protect your business from price shopping.

Doing an e-newsletter is easy, especially if you are blogging at least twice a week. We recommend to our blogging clients that they use the best blog post (or two) as the content for their monthly e-newsletter. I’ve found that typically the person who reads your blog is not the person who subscribes to your e-newsletter. If you feel that using blog posts may be too redundant for your audience, enlarge the blog post or add additional content value to it for the e-newsletter version.

With so many options for prefab e-newsletter templates you don’t need to have a custom one built necessarily, but some of our clients like one that reinforces their own brand.

Once your subscriber list size is about 100 or so you are ready to start working on creating and publishing your e-newsletter.

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Are You Missing the Boat By Not Having an E-Newsletter

Are You Missing the Boat? Yes!
Are You Missing the Boat? Yes!

Are you missing the boat? You sure are! I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard, “I love your newsletter, it has value to me, and now that I need X, I thought to call you first.”

If you are not creating great content that is shareable in an e-newsletter format, not only are you missing potential sales, but you may be missing ways to create loyalty with your current client base. When you create loyalty with your current base, you protect your business from “poaching”, build advocates for your own services, enhance referral actions, and protect your business from price shopping.

Doing an e-newsletter is easy, especially if you are blogging at least twice a week. We recommend to our blogging clients that they use the best blog post (or two) as the content for their monthly e-newsletter. I’ve found that typically the person who reads your blog is not the person who subscribes to your e-newsletter. If you feel that using blog posts may be too redundant for your audience, enlarge the blog post or add additional content value to it for the e-newsletter version.

With so many options for prefab e-newsletter templates you don’t need to have a custom one built necessarily, but some of our clients like one that reinforces their own brand.

Once your subscriber list size is about 100 or so you are ready to start working on creating and publishing your e-newsletter. Check back on Thursday for more tips on doing your e-newsletter and how to get subscribers.

 

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What are the Delivery Challenges for e-Newsletters?

Grow prospects into customers with e-newsletters.
Grow prospects into customers with e-newsletters.

Clients are sometimes shocked when they review their first delivery report for their new e-newsletter. Their 1,000 subscriber list ends up showing that only 10% to 30% of their subscribers actually opened their campaign. From what I have seen with a variety of accounts, the open rate may never top 50% for e-newsletter campaigns.

What Can a Business Do to Improve Opens?

1. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable subscriber/e-newsletter service. I like iContact, Topica, and Constant Contact. If you are dealing with a small no-name service you may have delivery issues. The larger services will all police their own clients to be Can Spam compliant and typically work directly with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to try to assure delivery of their own clients’ newsletters. That being said, it is not uncommon for double opted in subscribers to be sent via a specific IP block that has ISP service provider approval and those that are not double opted in to be sent through a different server block that may be filtered out at the ISP level and so never delivered.

2. Try to double opt in your subscribers. This is a hard one, and most lists we work with although typically “clean” will not be double opted in. Double opted in means that the reader has verified their email address and their desire to receive your message. This is a two step process – sign up for your e-newsletter and then respond to an automated email that asks them to click to verify their email address and desire.

3. Craft an e-newsletter title that is transparent and identifies who you are. Putting your name and a reminder of who you are in the title can help to increase open rates. This is especially important if you do not send your newsletter out every month. For those clients that send infrequently to their e-newsletter list, their open rates will typically be lower, as readers in many cases have simply forgotten that they have signed up or who you are.

4. Make your newsletter sharable and memorable. ISP are watching reader behavior. If more subscribers never read, open, or click things in your newsletter, over time the ISP may lower your newsletter rating pushing it into a filtered out status. Here’s a great article that speaks to this topic and shares with you some of the new technology and filters that Internet Service Providers are using to filter out spam.

E-newsletters are showing a resurgent interest and many clients are reporting that their newsletter is a great lead generator. If you haven’t tried doing one, now may be the time to give a monthly e-newsletter a new look.

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Doing an e-Newsletter? Make Sure to Create An Online Archive

Create a newsletter archive.
Create a newsletter archive.

E-newsletters are far from dead at this point, in fact they are getting a new look by many businesses. We have many clients for whom we provide writing and HTML services for their monthly or quarterly e-newsletters. I still find it surprising that when a new client comes to us that they have not been archiving their previous HTML newsletters on their website.

If you are going to create an e-newsletter in HTML format make sure to archive a copy in a newly created online e-newsletter archive section of your website. This way not only are you sending out a e-newsletter to prospects and clients, but you are also creating new website content for search engines.

If you are blogging, you can even use your best blog posts as e-newsletter content; saving time and money, as the people who will typically read your e-newsletter are usually a different demographic than the ones who will regularly read your blog.

The only time you would not want to archive e-newsletters on your website would be if you had a special price offering or coupon code for use for a certain list segment.

To get an idea of how you can create your own archive here is our own  e-newsletter archive to review for ideas.

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New Challenges for the Delivery of e-Newsletters

Clients are sometimes shocked when they review their first delivery report for their new e-newsletter. Their 1,000 subscriber list ends up showing that only 10% to 30% of their subscribers actually opened their campaign. From what I have seen with a variety of accounts, the open rate may never top 50% for e-newsletter campaigns.

So What Can a Business Do to Improve E-Newsletter Opens?

1. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable subscriber/e-newsletter service. I like iContact, Topica, and Constant Contact. If you are dealing with a small no-name service you may have delivery issues. The larger services will all police their own clients to be Can Spam compliant and typically work directly with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to try to assure delivery of newsletters. That being said, it is not uncommon for double opted in subscribers to be sent via a specific IP block that has ISP service provider approval and those that are not double opted in to be sent through a different server block that may be filtered out at the ISP level and so never delivered.

2. Try to double opt in your readers. This is a hard one, and most lists we work with although typically “clean” will not be double opted in. Double opted in means that the reader has verified their email address and their desire to receive your message. This is a two step process – sign up for your e-newsletter and then respond to an automated email that asks them to click to verify their email address and desire.

3. Craft an e-newsletter title that is transparent and identifies who you are. Putting your name and a reminder of who you are in the title can help to increase open rates. So can sending at least once a month versus quarterly. For those clients that send infrequently to their e-newsletter list, their open rates will typically be lower, as readers in many cases have simply forgotten that they have signed up or who you are.

4. Make your newsletter sharable and memorable. ISP are watching reader behavior. If more subscribers never read, open, or click things in your newsletter, over time the ISP may lower your newsletter rating pushing it into filtered out status. Here’s a great article that speaks to this topic and shares with you some of the new technology and filters that Internet Service Providers are using to filter out spam.

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